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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Possible upcoming GPS issue

Read Here

What GAO Found:

It is uncertain whether the Air Force will be able to acquire new
satellites in time to maintain current GPS service without
interruption. If not, some military operations and some civilian users
could be adversely affected.
 

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SSQ74
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It could very well happen...

The degredation in signal process and coordination is (and has been a known issue). It would not be a surprise to see the system crash. I would also comment that GPS can be degraded at will by the government in a national emergency, or by a cyber attack, so those of you who still cannot read a paper chart should become proficent. I use a gps, but always back it up with paper unless the trip is local and the weather is fine. Knowing how to navigate with a total electrical or device failure is a critical component of competent seamanship. I am constantly amazed at captains who put the family, guests and crew in harms way by believeing they are fullfulling their navigation responsibility by pressing the power button.
 

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As long as we're in a shooting war where GPS guided weapons are the primary force multiplier, they're going to come up with a way to keep the system accurate and operational. They'll print money to throw at it before they have to explain why the Air Force has to go back to bi-planes and the Mark I eyeball to provide air support.

None of which is to say that knowing how to navigate without it isn't important. There are a lot of reasons you might find yourself without it besides a satellite failure.

Although... I ran across a gentleman navigating north to Alaska last year using a decade old CD-ROM of "National Geographic: Maps of the World" as his primary reference. He had got as far as the tip of Vancouver Island at least with nothing more than that and a compass, so perhaps paper charts and GPS and such are simply over-rated. ;)
 

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The degredation in signal process and coordination is (and has been a known issue). It would not be a surprise to see the system crash. I would also comment that GPS can be degraded at will by the government in a national emergency, or by a cyber attack, so those of you who still cannot read a paper chart should become proficent. I use a gps, but always back it up with paper unless the trip is local and the weather is fine. Knowing how to navigate with a total electrical or device failure is a critical component of competent seamanship. I am constantly amazed at captains who put the family, guests and crew in harms way by believeing they are fullfulling their navigation responsibility by pressing the power button.
I agree it "could" happen but it never "will" happen. Just think of how many applications GPS is used for OTHER than the military. It is commonly used in airplanes, from 747's to small little Cessna's as the primary means of navigation. It is also used in thousands of boats, both commercial and recreational. It is used in hundreds of thousands of cars both built in plus in the million dollar "portable" GPS industry. It is also used by hundreds of thousands of people in their cell phones. Now besides the huge problem it would cause from a use standpoint, think about from a financial and economic standpoint of how many companies would fail and people loose their jobs if this were to happen.

I am no expert but I am pretty sure this is not going to happen. GPS has become too much of a mainstream to have the "government" just let it go and I agree with a previous poster that they will print and throw money at it than let it fail.

With that said I do agree with you 100% about having backups and not relying 100% on your GPS as one should know how to navigate other ways. Although I believe the system will never fail, I would not think it un normal if it stopped working for a small period of time and with Murphy's law it would most likely happen right when you need it. So it is very important to know how to navigate other ways
 

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SSQ74
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As long as we're in a shooting war where GPS guided weapons are the primary force multiplier, they're going to come up with a way to keep the system accurate and operational. They'll print money to throw at it before they have to explain why the Air Force has to go back to bi-planes and the Mark I eyeball to provide air support.

The military is not using commerical GPS platforms for weapons guidance
 

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Its not really an issue unless a massive solar flare does in the rest of the damage. 31 current government GPS satellites currently in orbit. Most GPS devices only use 8-12 of them to confirm positioning. When you think about it - it takes only three to triangulate, 5 to provide a margin to account for errors. The Air Force already has the money for updating and currently plans to launch more. News hype is a spin for the current limbo of the E-Loran systems that are in a flux state.
 

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As long as we're in a shooting war where GPS guided weapons are the primary force multiplier, they're going to come up with a way to keep the system accurate and operational. They'll print money to throw at it before they have to explain why the Air Force has to go back to bi-planes and the Mark I eyeball to provide air support.

The military is not using commerical GPS platforms for weapons guidance
I only hope we are not surpised!!
 

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The military is not using commerical GPS platforms for weapons guidance
We don't use commercial GPS platforms on that end either (which is what the GAO report was addressing, unless I am mistaken)... the sats are the same ones the military uses. Civilian equipment ties in to a different signal, but they're coming off the same birds. That's why the report says "...some military operations and some civilian users could be adversely affected." They are intimately related at that level. If there is a problem with lofting birds, it's going to affect civilian and military alike.

For that reason (among the many others listed here), I think it's extremely unlikely to actually occur.
 
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